The Next Wife

Thomas & Mercer: Amazon. May 2021. 312p. ISBN 9781542025942. pap. $15.95. SUSPENSE
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Add another scorned woman and you have the ingredients for one firestorm of a novel. Tish Nelson is the young, ruthless second wife of John Nelson; John is the CEO of EventCo, a company he created and still runs with his ex-wife Kate. Having worked her way into EventCo and eventually into John’s arms, Tish is not about to let anyone get in the way of her well-to-do life—not Kate and not Ashlyn, John’s college-age daughter. When John realizes he made a mistake in leaving his family for the younger Tish, his actions set off a sequence of events that remind us of William Congreve’s much-quoted observation about scorned women. Rouda (The Favorite Daughter) skillfully portrays the fallout through alternating chapters of first-person narration from each character. The fuse is lit for an epic showdown after John dies unexpectedly, while on a getaway with Tish. The first wife and the next wife are about to square off.
VERDICT Bring the popcorn for this high-noon of a novel, replete with deliciously snarky dialogue and a satisfying twist.
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